You know the voices. The constant stream of what you’re not doing right or could be doing better. I don’t think I’m the only one who hears them.
The voices leave me feeling inadequate, incapable, shameful, anxious, searching, spinning, spiraling. They come at me 24/7—most often from a small rectangular screen. We voluntarily stare at them, sign up, subscribe and log in for another beating on a daily basis. Research says upwards of 100 times a day for some of us—which amounts to once every 10 minutes of our waking hours.
Because we all need to be reminded—every 10 minutes—how much we’re not measuring up.
- How unhealthy the food is we’re feeding our children.
- How we’re scheduling or not scheduling their days well for development.
- How organic cotton is essential, just like essential oils. Essential. Obviously.
- How we don’t have the right toys/activities/books/sensory activities to engage their brain development.
- How we don’t have them in the best schools—or should we be homeschooling?
- How our discipline is damaging them.
- How our water and medicine is killing them slowly.
- How we need to know more and be more in order parent well – because everyone else is doing it better than we are.
So we turn on our screens to be reminded of what we’re clearly missing and not doing well enough. No wonder we feel like failures at this grand task. No wonder we feel defeated before we even get out of bed.
We’re all new at this and navigating this role in a new digital age. I don’t believe all of the voices intend to be mean. Often they’re very well-meaning—but our sleep-deprived, noise-overloaded brains hear “shame” and “inadequacy.”
But hear this today—young momma—we’ve got this. Because He’s got us. We just need to make new and different choices to reclaim our freedom—our lives—our purpose—again.
What if we silenced the mean voices? What if we reminded ourselves every 10 minutes that for some crazy reason we were hand-chosen by the Creator of Everything to be the momma of that child? That the Hand Crafter of our babies must know something we don’t—that we have something only we can offer them.
What if we rested in that today and shut off all the mean voices—all the voices that tell us we’re not enough?
I remember in high school being drawn to those teen beauty magazines. But as attractive as they were, I always felt this dull sense of low-grade depression after flipping through them. They are made to look inspiring and uplifting—but the reality is they made me feel horrible—an ugly, too-curvy girl who didn’t have the right group of friends like those magazine girls did. I’ll never forget what my mom told me.
“Christi, those magazines lie to you. They make you feel like you don’t measure up so you’ll buy into whatever they’re selling. If they make you feel ‘less than’, you’ll go after whatever they say will make you feel ‘more.’ But if they make you feel inadequate, don’t open them. You’re in control of that. Guard your heart, Christi.”
It always stuck with me. And I never opened one again.
Now we’re grown up, and teen mags aren’t our issue anymore—they’ve just morphed into a different form—sadly even more accessible and under different names—Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, Twitter, how-to blogs. Sure, they’re not all bad, but you know the ones that do it to you. The ones you get off of and feel dull, shame, overwhelmed, a bit anxious, and sad.
So I say to you, young momma, just what my momma told me all those years ago. If they make you feel less than, don’t open them. You control that. Guard your heart.
You’ve got what it takes. Quiet the mean voices that tell you otherwise.
Instead, go kiss your husband long and hard. Sit on the floor with your kids and release the weight of shame. Guard your heart. You’ve got this. Because He’s got you.
Love, Your Cheering Squad
PS. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23
Thanks!!I I needed that tonight!!
Christi Straub says
Lori – that totally makes my day. I need it too…every.darn.day. It’s amazing how the voices so quickly become absorbed into our thinking without us noticing.
THANK YOU!!! This is right on and so expresses how I’ve felt as a mom. Thanks you for reminding me of the TRUTH!!!
Christi Straub says
Joelle YES!! It’s something I’ve been battling for a long time, but it felt so much heavier after having kids. When you’re feeling insecure and helpless and looking for answers somewhere…and the all the options/opinions just confirm that you really aren’t measuring up. Thanks for reassuring me I’m not alone 🙂
I gave up magazines a long time ago too, but hadn’t considered the similar effect of social media. Guarding our hearts is so important. Thank you for the reminder.
Mama H says
My mom said to me “once a mom… always a mom”. It’s a story that never ends…
words of wisdom!! Preach it Momma!!
Never forget “unto him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly all that we ask or think!”
That’s the book to open❤️❤️
Amanda Groat says
so good, christi!! good advice and a good reminder for those of us who aren’t “the size we used to be in high school”… 😉
Thank you for this beautiful reminder that OUR children were put in OUR care by a loving God. As a mom of five, ages 12 to 24, I see all these great ideas on social media about effective ways to discipline, teach, play with, and basically enable our kids to be all they can be. A worthy goal yes, but I didn’t have all these ideas two dozen years ago and as a mom, I second guess all the things I did do and regret all the things I didn’t. Aghhhh! But I am so thankful for a God who takes all our weaknesses and inadequacies, real and imagined, and allows us to raise Jesus- loving, hard-working, compassionate kids into adults. And I’m truly thankful for the encouragement that I have received through your ministry.